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Welfare analysts make data work – Satakunta leads the way

Health care generates a vast amount of data that is still under-utilised. The universities of applied sciences of Satakunta and Lapland have seized the initiative and are starting to train nurses to become welfare analysts in a technology-focused training programme. The Satakunta Testbed community is growing into a major trailblazer.


Kirsi Suomalainen

Specialist, Communications and Public Affairs


The role of welfare analysts is to find out how different kinds of data are recorded in social welfare and health care, how and where it is transferred, what data exists, what it is used for and what happens to it afterwards. Until recently, little has happened with data left in its digital desk drawer. This will soon change as data is used to more efficiently improve services!

By using data, services will become more effective and customer-oriented. Care pathways can be made smoother, avoiding data gaps and duplication of procedures and work steps that frustrate both staff and patients. Ultimately, the project is aims to ensure even better health and well-being for people. Training programmes starting this autumn (in Finnish) will provide practical training for the new profession at two universities of applied sciences.

The role of the welfare analyst and cooperation in Satakunta was discussed at HIMSS22 Europe Health Conference & Exhibition on 13-15 June 2022 in Helsinki and featuring welfare analyst Minna-Maarit Ampio.

“It’s great that this was included in the official HIMSS programme in Helsinki and that awareness of this unique training programme is also spreading internationally,” says Leading Specialist Tuula Tiihonen from Sitra.

The conference will also feature the Satakunta Testbed activities. Partly funded by Sitra and led by the Satakunta University of Applied Sciences (SAMK) the project will strengthen the role of the welfare analyst and raises the international profile of the Satakunta Testbed network as a partner of choice for health and welfare technology development and testing.

The project aims to boost the Satakunta Testbed ecosystem, which specifically focuses on robotics, AI and data analytics. The ecosystem is characterised by testing activities related to software and data, and its members include Satasairaala Hospital, Porin Perusturva, Prizztech, WinNova, Sataedu, the Lapland University of Applied Sciences and a number of companies.

The recent publication Technology as Workmates (in Finnish, Teknologia työkaverina) provides a broad overview of product testing and research cooperation carried out in the Satakunta region in the field of wellbeing and health technology. The publication was produced as part of the Satakunta DigiHealth project implemented by Prizztech, Sataedu, SAMK, the Pori Unit of Tampere University and WinNova. The project is funded by Satakuntaliitto (EAKR) and regional municipalities.

The new training programme started from the HEAP pilot project, which was implemented jointly by SAMK, the Pori Unit of the Tampere University of Technology (nowadays Tampere University) and Tallinn University. The results of the pilot are described in more detail in the Sitra report From big data to myhealth published in 2018.

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